Driver Critically Injured in Fiery Truck Accident on Highway 18 near Auburn, WA
Auburn, WA -- May 2, 2022, two people were injured, one critically, in a tractor-trailer accident on State Highway 18 near Auburn.
Authorities say the incident happened Monday on eastbound Washington 18 near the WA-167 on-ramp. The cause and circumstances of the accident aren't known yet but reports say an 18-wheeler crashed there and then caught fire.
Bystanders managed to pull the driver out of the burning truck. The driver suffered critical injuries including several burns, while one of the bystanders received minor burns while helping.
The crash is still under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Truck Accident on WA-18 near Auburn
Right now reports say only that a commercial vehicle crashed and its driver was seriously hurt, as well as a bystander getting burned saving him. There's a lot of important details and context missing from that, obviously; until more facts are available I hope no one jumps to any conclusions.
Investigators still need to look into many potential factors: Possible driver mistakes like distraction or speeding, maybe, but also problems with the truck (tire blowouts? engine or brake failure?), road conditions and design, visibility, lighting and sightlines, inclement weather, missing or confusing signage, other traffic in the area, and many other elements that could have influenced or outright caused the wreck. Considering all the possible variables is an important part of any investigation.
As investigators keep working to connect those dots, making premature assumptions isn't a good idea. Too many folks decide for themselves what happened after reading a few sentences in an early news release, only to change their minds completely after more information comes to light. The same could happen here, though a standard police investigation may not sufficiently explain things either.
After a major accident--particularly one involving a commercial truck--I always suggest an independent investigation to better ensure the whole truth is found. Whatever is learned, those affected deserve to know that every effort was made to bring them all the available answers. Any other actions beyond simply learning the truth would depend on what that truth turns out to be.